Monday, April 22, 2013

Quick Mailbox Makeover

In the 3 years I've lived in my house, my mailbox has been hit at least 3 times. After the 2nd time, we cemented the post into the ground and painted the post to match the house.  I even planted some flowers at the base.

Unfortunately the flowers didn't last long.  My mailbox gets direct sunlight and I didn't water them enough. 

So I started looking for mailbox garden ideas. A friend told me about their neighbor who had a large pot that their mailbox post was in.  I decided to try it for my mail box.

I purchased a large (22"+) wine barrel that I cut a small hole in the base.  This was so I could put it over my mailbox post, since my post was cemented in the ground. I had to remove the cross post and my mail box in order to position the pot.  This was fairly easy since we had screwed the posts together.

I filled the bottom of the pot with gravel to help with drainage, and I also filled in around the pot with gravel to fend off weeds.

I am very pleased with the end result!  I'm hoping that the potting soil (and the pot) will help keep more moisture for the plants.  My mailbox is now one of a kind!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Country Walkway

For our "Spring Break" we decided to build a walkway from the porch to the driveway.

I had already purchased a Quikrete Walkmaker Mold after seeing a friend make a path with one.  I loved the 'Country Stone Pattern' and knew this would make a great design for our walkway.

First we marked out the outline of the path and took measurements. (Helpful Tip - when calculating the area make sure you are awake and don't think 17 x 2 is 24! This will greatly skew the amount of supplies you will need!)

Then we began removing the grass (which we transplanted into the backyard) and then dug down about 4 inches.

This was a very labor intense process but setting the right foundation will ensure the longevity of our walk way.

Then we filled in about 3 inches of drainage rock {paver base rock) and used a tamper to compress it down.

Next we filled in with about an inch of leveling sand (paver sand) that we tamped down and made sure it was as close to level as possible.

Finally we were ready to use the Walkmaker mold!  We decided to dye the concrete a dark charcoal color.
(The Walkmaker instructions say use one 80lb bag of concrete per mold, but we found one 80lb bag was good for 1 and a half molds.)

This part is very tedious, with the concrete mixing, mold filling, and smoothing. But with a little patience the pavers turned out great.

The concrete looked much darker before it dried.  I was worried it would be too dark.  But after letting it set for a day they turned out much lighter.

We finished the walkway by filling in around the country stones with pea pebbles. You could also use polymeric sand (but we had too much space around our pavers to use that.)

The pea pebbles still need to settle down, and the pavers have some dust from the pebbles, but I love our new walkway!